Share this article

print logo

HOFFMAN ASKS CITY TO DIG IN ON FISCAL FRONT

North Tonawanda Mayor Elizabeth C. Hoffman, in a year-end message issued Thursday, called for a teeth-gritting perseverance in 1991.

"I hereby declare 1991 as the year to persevere," she said.

"I truly believe that with the uncertainty of the times, the precarious nature of our national scene regarding world peace, as well as huge federal and state budget deficits, that I must call upon our residents to persevere.

"The city relies on state aid to finance a great portion of its budget, thus reducing the burden of real property taxes on the resident.

"However, the current budget crisis facing the state will impact negatively on the financial picture of cities.

"The state, which cut our per-capita aid in 1990, is projecting larger cuts in 1991 to balance its budget. The resulting cuts from the state will be passed down to the local property owner," the mayor said.

What affects state and federal budgets, affects city revenue sources, she said.

"More cutbacks from the state could bring our city economically to its knees in 1991, as well as our residents and businesses.

"This administration will do everything possible to ensure that the City of North Tonawanda receives its fair share of state aid," the mayor pledged. "Working hand in hand with the New York State Conference of Mayors, we will make our voices heard."

Mayor Hoffman predicted the financial road will be as bumpy as in the recession of the early 1980s.

She said the city was "blessed," coming out of that recession with both feet planted firmly on the ground, city finances in the black and an A bond rating.

While not mentioning the Common Council specifically, the mayor said, "We have been a caring, sharing, loving community. But now at the end of 1990, I must ask, 'What happened to our sense of community well-being this year?' "

She referred to the Council's refusal to approve a bid by Twin Cities Community Outreach (TCCO), a church-related social services agency, to buy a building in the Oliver Street business district for a centralized charity operation.

"TCCO has to start again looking for a building to house all three services: Meals on Wheels, Food Pantry and Clothes Closet," the al front
te cutbacks
mayor said. "Our record of commitment is slightly tarnished."

Regarding the upcoming city budget, the mayor said, "It must be one that everyone can live with financially. We must be frugal. Our businesses are struggling as well as our citizens. . . . We must all cut back and conserve."

The mayor mentioned the city sewer tax as particularly "horrendous."

"The wastewater treatment plant on River Road was overbuilt to accommodate industry that has left the area, never to return," she said. Furthermore, the state has "divorced itself financially" from helping pay the growing operating and maintenance costs of such plants.

Unless the city is aggressive in attracting business and industry, "our city could be in the red in the near future," the mayor said.

She added, however, that, "Our objective should not be to bring business to North Tonawanda just to arbitrarily create additional revenues without protecting the environment . . . not create a climate where we are losing business because of irresponsible action the part of our local government. Now is the time to work hand-in-hand with business, not create chaos and confusion for each other."

There are no comments - be the first to comment